It’s that time of year again when we reflect on those special people who have impacted our lives in a meaningful way.
Back in March of 2006, I went into the hospital for a fairly straightforward biopsy procedure.
When I awoke from the anesthesia, I saw my wife (Kathleen) crying as she had already learned what I was soon to hear……that despite not having any symptoms at the time, I was deemed to have Metastatic Melanoma and was classified as being Stage IV.
Thanks to Dr. Joe Moore (Duke Doctor and fellow The V Foundation Board Member), I was able to get examined quickly at the Duke Cancer Center where biopsy results confirmed that I had 30 tumors in my liver. The prognosis was not good as I was given 11 months to live and was advised, “go home and get my financial affairs in order”.
However, thanks to my determined wife and my nurses and doctors at Duke who would not let me “give up”, we began an 8 month treatment ordeal which was the most arduous thing I have ever experienced.
I don’t think I would have survived if it hadn’t been for Kathleen’s dedication, determination and care-giving skills as well as the daily visits by Dr. Moore and Nick/Karen Valvano.
As you consider whether or not to contribute to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, please know that every dollar you contribute brings us one step closer to a finding a cure.
The IL-2 (Interleukin 2) drug I utilized didn’t exist but a few short years ago. Thanks to ongoing cancer research, the IL-2 was available when I really needed it most.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all.
Harry Rhoads, Jr.
4-time cancer survivor and
The V Foundation Board Member